Southwestern Pasta Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing

Before I overload you with all the soup recipes we've been trying this weekend/week, I wanted to share a salad that we ate completely by ourselves....

as in... just the two of us in one sitting. 

We both had such a long day, and were completely starving by the end. Luckily this recipe is easy to dump altogether in a bowl in minutes. The creamy avocado dressing is pretty low maintenance as well. I chopped up all the ingredients and blended the dressing in a flash while the pasta was boiling. Plate after plate, we came back for seconds... then thirds... and then we jut picked at the bowl with our forks like heathens until the bowl was almost completely empty.

I can't even begin to explain how fresh this salad is. It has all the textures you could dream of, and the dressing isn't too heavy by any means. I added olives and feta to the recipe - mostly because I can eat olives by the can, and I love the way feta tastes with avocado.

This pasta salad would be really awesome with any small pasta, or even you could try healthing it up with a little whole grain pasta or quinoa. Like I said before, we ate this all in the same day, so I'm not sure how well it keeps. With the avocado, I don't think it's timeline is as long as we'd all hope. But with the lime in there to help things along, there's a good chance it might keep for a day at most. Enjoy!


Southwestern Pasta Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing
4-6 servings


8 oz rotini pasta
1 15oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 C grape tomatoes, halved
1 can olives, drained
1/2 C diced red bell pepper
1/4 C diced orange bell pepper
1/4 C diced yellow bell pepper
1/2 C diced red onion
1/2 C sweet corn, drained
2 large avocados, peeled, pitted, and diced
salt and pepper to tasted
1 lime for juicing over salad
1/4 C chopped cilantro
feta cheese for sprinkling

2 ripe avocados, peeled and pitted
3 T plain greek yogurt
1/2 C low-fat buttermilk
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 C chopped fresh cilantro
2 T chopped green onion
1 small jalapeno pepper, chopped and seeded
2-3 T fresh lime juice
1/4 t ground cumin
salt and pepper to taste

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente. Rinse with cold water, and place in a large bowl. Add black beans, olives, tomatoes, peppers, red onion, corn, and chopped avocado.
2. Make dressing: combine all dressing ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Add more buttermilk if dressing isn't thin enough. Pour dressing over pasta salad, and top with a sprinkle of lime juice and feta.

recipe adapted from: two peas and their pod


  1. This looks delicious! xx


  2. This is my kind of pasta salad! Love the avocado dressing!

    1. Heck yes it is! You would love this, Jessica! I swear you could put this avocado dressing on just about any fresh salad.

  3. Hi, this looks great. I love your blog. I made your apple cider cookies (unfortunately I did not like them as much as my husband did). Keep up the delicious recipes. I love quinoa, and plan to make that avocado dressing one you have posted. Any other quinoa recipes? Have you ever tried the black bean and mango quinoa salad. It is divine.

    1. Amy, thank you so much for visiting my blog - makes me so happy! No worries about the cookies - they're pretty sweet (and I think are only perfect for those who love the extra extra extra zing of apple cider flavor). Happy your husband loved them - my husband couldn't stop eating the dough for me to make the full batch of cookies.... men... Quinoa is great! I haven't heard of that black bean and mango salad, but I'll have to try it (sounds killer). Thanks for taking the time to comment - I took a peek over at your blog, and you are just darling.

  4. Yum! I was just looking at a couple of avocados in my fruit bowl that need used up, so I am now going to be making this for dinner tomorrow night!


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